If you want to study Unchurching: Christianity Without Churchianity with a group, this outline can help. It divides the book into 7 study sessions, which will take about 7-9 weeks to complete, assuming your group has one session per week. (There are also two optional group meetings which aren't study sessions.)
Each session covers an average of 25 pages of text, though the actual page count might seem longer. That's because blank pages (which are part of the book's layout) are ignored when calculating the number of pages to read for each session.
Individual study time
Don’t wait until the last minute and try to cram a week's worth of study, just prior to a meeting. That won't give you enough time to ruminate, or look up Bible verses, or make thoughtful study notes.
Everyone should participate as equals. It defeats the purpose of the book to look to an individual as your group's leader.
Not just educational, but relational
Please consider hosting these meetings around a group meal, or at least have some kind of snacks and drinks available.
Optional Group Session: Introductions
For this optional session, a group meal is highly recommended
Share personal stories about each person's church experience
After the meal, distribute copies of Unchurching
Look over this outline together
Pages 5–34 (25 pages of text)
Foreword by Jon Zens
A Crisis of Faith
A Peculiar People
The Community of God
The Image of God
Optional Individual activity
Co-housing isn’t the only way to create community. But we can probably learn a few things from people who are pursuing community this way. Before the next meeting, watch this commercial and also watch all the videos in this playlist.
Assuming co-housing isn’t an option (or simply not desirable) for you, what are some other ways you can create community? Write down your ideas and share them during the next meeting.
Pages 35–59 (24 pages of text)
Sharing Their Possessions
Sharing Their Gifts
Sharing Their Faith
Pages 61–90 (27 pages of text)
Parents and Children
Fathers and Mothers
One Set of Parents
OPTIONAL INDIVIDUAL activity
Before the next meeting, read this article about the concept of a "legal personality" (including the section about its history) and be prepared to discuss what you find. Some questions to consider:
Have you ever questioned whether churches should be corporations?
Is it possible to be a church today, without the corporate structure?
If so, what would the benefits be?
Pages 91–115 (24 pages of text)
Putting It All Together
Counting the Cost
Pages 117–144 (25 pages of text)
Command and Control
An Old Testament Example
A New Testament Alternative
Crowds versus Congregations
Pages 145–175 (26 pages of text)
The Jesus Store
The Least of These
Optional Group Session: Video, Article, and Discussion
Get the group together and watch this 30 minute short film, Living in Community - The Movie.
Then, have someone read aloud this New York Times article, Modern Housing With Village Virtues.
As a group, discuss what you could or couldn't give up, in order to experience more community.
Could you give up your current job?
Could you give up your house?
Could you give up your kids' school?
This doesn’t have to be a discussion about co-housing, per se. It can simply be a discussion of what it might cost to move toward a genuine shared spiritual life with others, and what you might get in return.
Pages 177–203 (25 pages of text)
The Priesthood of All Believers
In My Defense
The Church Exodus
Your Own Exodus